The Issues

 

Cat in SnowWhen large numbers of Community and Owned Outdoor Cats exist and interact several concerns arise. Some members of the community are frustrated by nuisance behaviours of community cats, such as urinating/defecating in gardens, fighting, and noisy mating behaviors.  They are also concerned that outdoor cats will transmit diseases or injure healthy owned and supervised cats spending time outdoors. Our ecosystems are under stress from many man-made sources. Some perceive that the impact of outdoor cats on wild songbird populations is critical in some areas. Some community members hold opposing views that support cats being present to assist with pest control (rats, mice). Others view cats as ‘free spirits’ who should be entitled to spend some time outdoors unsupervised. Still others are concerned about the health risks that outdoor cats face from sick or wild animals, vehicles, and inclement weather.  Without doubt, when cats are allowed to mate freely, the population of community cats can increase rapidly, compounding the problems.  The issues created when cats are outdoors (owned and not owned) are community wide. Although cats are often blamed, the real culprit here is HUMANS. The community must be involved in reviewing the issues and identifying solutions that address all aspects of the problem. We ALL have a stake in trying to improve the situation.